Informal Seminar - Baljit S. Khakh | Tuesday, June 6th -4 pm

Tuesday, June 6, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Chen 100
Cells That Tile Your Brain: Unmasking Astrocyte Biology in Neural Circuits
Baljit S. Khakh, Professor, Physiology and Neurobiology, UCLA,

Informal Seminar

Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Location: Chen 100

Reception: 3:30 pm

Seminar: 4 pm

Speaker: Baljit S. Khakh, Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology


Faculty Host: Henry Lester

Title: Cells That Tile Your Brain: Unmasking Astrocyte Biology in Neural Circuits


The study of the brain, a highly complex multicellular organ, has witnessed spectacular advances in the last few decades. Despite this laudable progress, severe blind spots in our understanding of basic brain function and disease still remain. Many cell types that make up the brain are non-neuronal, and many aspects of these cells have been understudied or overlooked. The brain's non-neuronal cells include glia, which represent about half of all brain cells. Khakh will describe a series of studies from his laboratory that provide new insights on predominant glial cells called astrocytes, named historically because of their alluring, yet deceptively simple star-like shapes. He will address long-standing questions in neuroscience concerning the functions of astrocytes in the brain. After a period of intense exploration, it is now clear that signaling between astrocytes and neurons plays pivotal roles in both normal brain physiology and in disease conditions. By providing tools, mechanisms and concepts, recent breakthroughs lay the foundations for further advances in neurobiology and suggest new strategies to treat neurological and psychiatric diseases.